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Spyware judgment due

A judgment is due to be handed down at 10.30am on Friday 19 August 2022 in relation to the case brought by Ghanem Al-Masarir against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its alleged use of spyware to infiltrate his mobile phones.

In his legal case Ghanem alleges that the Saudi regime infected his mobile phone with the spyware, known as Pegasus, acquired from the Israeli tech company, NSO Group, which allowed them to access his microphone and camera to hear and record what he was doing.

Ghanem is bringing a claim for personal injuries resulting from the misuse of private information and harassment in relation to the spyware. He is also bringing a claim relating to an attack he suffered on 31 August 2018 which he believes was directed by the Saudi regime.

Ghanem was given permission to serve his case on the KSA in January 2020. However, at a hearing in June 2021 the court heard an application by the KSA for a declaration that it was immune under the State Immunity Act 1978 and to dismiss the claim on that basis.

The judgment relating to that application is due to be handed down remotely on 19 August.

It is believed that the case could set a precedent for the legal claims of others who have been targeted with spyware by foreign governments while in the UK.

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